Greenwood Loop This is the first of five loops in the trail system in the Ballyhouras and is called the Green Wood loop. This trail takes you through the lush hillsides underneath Seefin Mountain and Black Rock and is used as the outward and inward legs for the rest of the trail network.
Trail Name: Greenwood Loop Trail Start Point: Car Park Length: 6km Time : 30 mins to 1 hr Degree of Difficulty: Moderate Metres Climb: 110m Loop: Yes Trail Finish Point: Car Park Trail Waymarking Colour: Green
Trail Description: This loop is the perfect introduction to mountain biking with easy climbs and fun singletrack descents and is the shortest of all the loops giving a great flavour of the Ballyhoura Trails. It is essentially one gradual climb followed by one long descent with all but 1.5 km of the loop on narrow, twisty singletrack trails.
The singletrack trails are quite technical in places and feature some elevated timber boardwalk sections with exposed edges. Some of the trails can be quite slippery in wet weather. The singletrack trails are all very narrow (not more than 1m wide) and have very variable surfaces including, loose rocks and gravel, mud, water and protruding roots. There are also likely to be encroaching vegetation and trees throughout.
High point 345m
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Tel: +353 63 91300 www.ballyhouramtb.com
The trails are located in the Ballyhoura Mountains which cover east Limerick and north Cork. The trailhead is located 2 kms south of Ardpatrick village in Co. Limerick off the R512 road (OSI Discovery Series Sheet 73).
The trail system presents riders with a combination of narrow singletrack and boardwalk sections and also has sections of forest road climbs over short and long distances. The trails are laid out in 5 loops and each loop leads onto the next. The loops are waymarked in one direction – just pick the colour of the loop you want to ride and follow the arrows. There is more information out on the trails at the start of each loop. Please ensure you are equipped fully to undertake this adventure sport and respect other trial users at all times. The trail can be quite exposed on the upper slopes and can be very windy in poor weather – dress accordingly.
Grid Ref: R 656 186
Facilities at the trail head include map boards, car parking, toilets, showers and bike wash facilities.Trail friendly accommodation, bike rental and good food are available locally.
Welcome The Ballyhoura Mountain Bike trails are nestled into the beautiful Ballyhoura mountains straddling the counties of Cork and Limerick. The trails were designed by Daffyd Davis and run over 90km of the most wonderful undulating hills and forests that Ireland has to offer. The surrounding villages of Ardpatrick, Ballyorgan Charleville, Doneraile, Kilfinane, and Kilmallock will offer a warm welcome and a mountain biker friendly range of accommodation to suit individuals and large groups alike.
Car park open: 8am-9pm (Mon-Fri) 8am - 8pm (Sat-Sun) Parking fee: € 5
Rules of the Trail
These guidelines for trail behavior, as set out by IMBA are recognized around the world.
1. Ride On Open Trails Only 2. Leave No Trace 3. Control Your Bicycle 4. Yield to Others 5. Never Scare Animals 6. Plan Ahead
Supported by: Base Map reproduced by kind permission of Coillte
www.ballyhouramtb.com www.ballyhouracountry.com www.coillteoutdoors.ie www.shannonregiontrails.ie www.discoverireland.ie
Mountrussell Loop Trail Description:
The Mountrussell Loop is a more technical and physically demanding version of the Greenwood Loop and follows this as far as Waypoint 1, from where the trails become a bit more technical, narrower, rockier and steeper with more climbing and more descending.
The loop features some steep climbs on forest roads and singletrack as well as long singletrack descents. All of the singletrack trails have extremely varied and sometimes very uneven surfaces, including rocks, loose gravel, mud, water and roots and are often very narrow (not more than 1m wide) with lots of tight turns, encroaching vegetation and with trees and boulders very close to the trail. There are also long sections of elevated timber boardwalk with exposed edges and uneven and sometimes slippery surfaces.
Trail Name: Mountrussell Loop Trail Start Point: Car Park Length: 17km Time : 1-2 hrs Degree of Difficulty: Moderate / Difficult Metres Climb: 150m Loop: Yes Trail Finish Point: Car Park Trail Waymarking Colour: Brown
Follow the Brown waymarkers all the way to Waypoint 3 where you begin the inward leg of the Loop and eventually pick up the Green waymarkers that lead you back to the car park. Along the way you will pass Waypoint 2 where you can take a shortcut back to the car park by going left up the hill to pick up the inward leg of the Loop.
Garrane Loop The Garrane Loop ventures westwards from Waypoint 3 taking in some long and fast singletrack descents as well as some long and demanding climbs on forest roads, tracks and singletrack trails.
Trail Name: Garrane Loop Trail Start Point: Car Park Length: 35km Time : 1.5 - 3 hrs Degree of Difficulty: Difficult Metres Climb: 200m Loop: Yes Trail Finish Point: Car Park Trail Waymarking Colour: White
High point 409m
The singletrack found on this Loop is technical in places with numerous very tight turns, steep descents and features such as small rock steps, exposed roots and elevated timber boardwalks. Trail surfaces vary a lot including loose gravel, rocks, mud and water and can be very uneven and extremely narrow with encroaching vegetation, boulders and trees. From waypoint 3 (reached by following the Green then Brown waymarkers) you pick up White waymarkers passing Waypoints 4, 5 and 6 along the way. These waypoints provide opportunities to either cut short the loop or to extend but the white waymarkers eventually bring you all the way back to Waypoint 3, from where you follow the Brown then the Green waymarkers all the way back to the car park. This loop features numerous long climbs and takes in areas of high ground that can be exposed to bad weather.
High point 387m
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Streamhill Loop The Streamhill Loop provides an initial detour from the Garrane Loop giving a longer ride before rejoining to climb higher into the mountains. It detours again from the Garrane Loop higher up and starts some of the most demanding of the trails here with fast descents and longer climbs.
Trail Name: Streamhill Loop Trail Start Point: Car Park Length: 41km Time : 2 - 3.5 hrs Degree of Difficulty: Difficult / Severe Metres Climb: 200m Loop: Yes Trail Finish Point: Car Park Trail Waymarking Colour: Blue
Trail Description: This is a big ride in a remote area with some long steep climbs and technical singletrack descents with numerous features such as tight turns, small rock steps, steep sections and exposed roots and includes some of the most technical riding in the Ballyhouras. Trail surfaces vary considerably and can include loose gravel, rocks, mud and water with encroaching vegetation, trees and boulders. The highest point of this Loop is at 400m and can be exposed to bad weather, particularly high winds so be properly prepared. From Waypoint 5 follow Blue waymarkers to where you rejoin the Garrane Loop, which you follow to Waypoint 6 where you once again pick up Blue waymarkers. Follow these then all the way to where you rejoin the Mountrussell Loop for the return leg to the car park (follow Brown then Green waymarkers). Along the way you pass Waypoint 7 where you can link into The Castlepook Loop and make this in to an even longer and much more demanding ride (see Castlepook Loop). This Loop alone is a long and demanding ride.
Castlepook Loop This is the ultimate loop of the Ballyhoura trails, being the longest and most demanding. It goes right to the southern fringes of the forest and presents you with the biggest climbs and most rewarding descents. Be prepared!
Trail Name: Castlepook Loop Trail Start Point: Car Park Length: 51km Time : 4 - 5 hrs Degree of Difficulty: Severe Metres Climb: 280m Loop: Yes Trail Finish Point: Car Park Trail Waymarking Colour: Red
High point 412m
Trail Description: This is the longest and by far the most demanding ride in the Ballyhouras and is most definitely not for the faint hearted or the unfit. Essentially you follow the Streamhill Loop as far as Waypoint 7 from where you follow the Red waymarkers in a long loop before rejoining the Streamhill Loop for the return leg. This Loop includes the longest and steepest descent in the forest as well as the longest climb and the singletrack is both technical and narrow with very variable surfaces including loose gravel, rocks, mud, roots and water. The singletrack trails also feature numerous very tight turns, features such as small rock steps and elevated timber boardwalk sections. This Loop accesses some very high ground and is exposed to bad weather so make sure that both you and your bike are well prepared.
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